The War on Terrible


None of us is perfect. Some of us (sadly more of us than we’d like to admit) are simply terrible. For every Jared, surfing kiddy porn (allegedly) while scarfing down impossibly tasteless five-dollar foot-longs, there are thousands if not more just like him. For every Bill Cosby who only drugs women because hitting them over the head and dragging them back to his cave (allegedly, but come on) is too conspicuous (especially in his Jesus and the Amazing Technicolor sweater collection), there are thousands more— and they’re not all on college campuses despite what you’ve heard on NPR.

So, let’s take 1% of the funding of the “War on Terror” and fund the “War on Terrible”.

I’m not talking about every hopeless, heartless, witless Dylann Roof out there. They’re a different category. I’d like to think they’re insane because to do what he did and others have done before him while sane is unthinkable. Regardless, let’s put their ilk aside.

But rapists and pedophiles (and there is a bit of a leap to go from child porn to pedophilia, but it’s not a world-class leap) are irredeemably broken. They need to be detected, isolated, and studied before more harm is done. It sounds harsh and draconian. It also sounds fraught with risk. Every boy or man who looks different or is different is not dangerous. Further, there are sick people who can be made well through medicine, counseling…

That’s where the funding comes in. What precisely is broken in these specific predators that either allow them or make them (depending on your perspective) do these horrible things they do? (As an aside, a friend of mine works in the penal system and has gotten to know a convicted child molester well over the years of his incarceration. She swears he’s witty, intelligent and fundamentally decent. Yet he knows that he cannot ever leave custody. He knows what he’d do. Yet, he knows not why.)

That’s where research comes in.

We can’t save every sinner. We can’t catch every bad guy. Let’s narrow the net and focus on these slippery fish before more of our rivers and lakes are fouled and overrun by them to the point that nobody goes there any more.

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